Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"And here's what you should have done..."

Lock and load everyone, I'm ranting again.

Today's pet peeve is the propensity for customer service representatives to tell people what they 'should have done' to avoid a problem that more often than not, was not their fault to begin with.

Case in point: I was due to receive a check approximately two weeks ago. [Not a royalty check, btw - nothing writing business related.]

Normally the checks from this establishment are cut and mailed immediately and they arrive within three business days. Fast efficient service.

Well, I'm still waiting for my check. Obviously it's lost in the mail. Granted the USPS has been known to deliver something from Alaska to New Jersey in three days and something from walking distance the next town over in a week and a half, but seriously, after ten business days I'm a little jumpy that my money is lost.

So I called the business in question [a bank] and politely asked what the problem could be. I realize if something is lost, it's not their fault or mine, but the fact remains my money is in limbo somewhere. I got the anticipated - "Give it a few more days because we don't feel like researching the problem right now and maybe if we're all really lucky it will go away." I agreed reluctantly to wait a little bit longer for money that should have been in my hands last month. I'm annoyed but hey, I realized a stop-payment costs money and time and they're hoping they won't actually have to do any work to correct the problem. That would have been fine, but TWICE the customer service rep says: "You know, we offer Fed-Ex service for $5."

This is her way of telling me what I did wrong was to not pay to have my check FedExed to me when normally it arrives for free in three days. After the second time she reminded me of their FedEx service I got a little miffed and I told her, "Obviously that's a great idea, but it doesn't help me recover this missing check, does it?" I also went on to say that if my money isn't secure, and I can't count on it being in my hands when I need it, perhaps I shouldn't use their services at all.

Anyway, the point of my rant is, this isn't the first time a customer service rep has pulled this, "Here's what YOU did wrong," deal on me. It's one thing to suggest alternatives, but when a customer has a problem, the last thing they want to hear is 'coulda shoulda woulda' from the customer serivce rep. Help me solve this problem first, before you tell me how I could have avoided it all together, especially if that avoidance includes paying extra.

Is jsut me? Or have you ever had to deal with the 'Here was your first mistake' spiel from a customer service rep?


Jennifer Elbaum said...

Um...yes, but I'm kinda scared of you right now, so I'm not going to elaborate

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Uh oh. The suspense novelist is scared of me?? Yikes.

Jennifer Elbaum said...

I'm scared because I understand the power that comes with righteous indignation. It's something I occassionally wield myself and it leaves others quaking in their baby booties!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

I'm definitely getting more righteously indignant than I used to be. It's the - I'm 40 now and I take crap from no one - syndrome.